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Please note: This article discusses mental health and self-harm.
It’s well documented that moving your body is essential to health and wellness. Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise (we are, of course, entirely biased).
Noticeably, more women have been turning to two wheels to get out and about as a mode of transport or for leisure reasons.
We therefore, decided to look into the benefits women can expect from cycling.
1. Cycling is easy on the joints
Cycling is a great sport when it comes to impact. This is because it’s a low impact sport.
According to an article from Everyday Health that focused on Joint Pain and Women, “women are more apt than men to have conditions that cause joint pain,” adding, “Women are more prone to osteoarthritis of the knee.” Raising the concern that women are likely better suited to low-impact sports such as cycling.
Unlike running, your joint won’t be constantly bashing against the ground with every movement. Instead the action of pedalling is much kinder to your joints.
With this being said, if you have issues with your joints, such as aches and pains or even more severe injuries, cycling is a good choice.
2. Cycling can be beneficial during and after the menopause
For many women, menopause can be debilitating and is often an overlooked part of women’s medicine and healthcare.
But according to Dr Samantha Wild, “While everyone needs to do cardiovascular exercise, women are at particular risk of heart disease after menopause.” Following on to state that cycling is a brilliant example of the cardiovascular exercise women can do to help prevent such health issues.
Dr. Samantha Wild also stated: “Cardiovascular exercise can also increase your energy levels, boost your mood, and enhance your sleep quality,” all of which are issues women during and post-menopause may experience.
However, if you are really struggling with symptoms due to the menopause, seeking medical support is also very much recommended. Exercise can help but likely won’t be the sole remedy. But can be a great way to help ease symptoms naturally.
3. Cycling improves overall fitness
Now it won’t come as a huge surprise that riding a bike regularly will help improve the overall fitness of a person, regardless of their gender or who they identify as. But given how important this factor is, it just has to be added.
Riding a bike regularly will help women feel fitter in general by improving the strength of the cardiovascular system. This of course will take time so isn’t a quick fix. But over time, the improved fitness is definitely noticeable.
This is great for allowing you to ride with greater ease and further as your endurance improves. But also in everyday life, which will help with work and general life: you will notice you become fatigued less quickly and see other indicators like a lower resting heart rate.
Therefore, not only will your cycling ability improve physically but your ability to carry out daily activities, what’s not to love?
4. Cycling helps to maintain a healthy body weight
Something that can be a complicated and sensitive topic for many women is body weight. First, I want to state that everyone comes in all shapes and sizes, and some of us carry more body fat than others.
Not only that, but after injuries, illness, or due to medication, body fat can accumulate but become difficult to budge.
But cycling for women can be a really fantastic option for those wanting to find an activity to help maintain a healthy body weight. Cycling is a fun and varied sport, unlike other sports that aren’t very exciting nor can get you from A-B.
Instead of just sitting on the rowing machine in a gym, jumping on your bike allows you to see sights and ride to places you need to be, such as work or to the shops, while still helping you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Therefore, as calories in versus calories out (used) can be improved by exercising, in theory, you can eat more and keep the same healthy body weight bracket (as weight does, of course, naturally fluctuate) by riding your bike more.
5. Cycling has a range of mental health benefits
With mental health cases on the rise, rates of self-harm among young women have tripled since 1993, and women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as men, according to the charity Mental Health Foundation, it’s becoming increasingly crucial that outlets are found and promoted to help people with their mental health.
Although medical intervention with any serious health conditions is important (be it medication or therapy), exercise can help. Lancet reported that one study in the US found that “individuals who exercised had 1,49 (43,2%) fewer days of poor mental health in the past month than individuals who did not exercise”. Adding that “the largest associations were seen for popular team sports (22,3% lower), cycling (21,6% lower)”.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that cycling really can be a brilliant way to ease mental health issues and improve the wellbeing of women who seem to disproportionately suffer from certain mental health issues more.
6. Cycling can help to reduce risk of cancer
In 2020, the World Cancer Research Fund International reported that breast cancer was the most common cancer in women globally. Contributing to a whopping 25.8% of the total number of new cancer cases diagnosed that year.
With breast cancer being the most common form back in 2020, it’s important that we do what we can to help prevent cancer from occurring. Of course, genetics plays a large role, but so does lifestyle.
Research carried out by the University of Glasgow back in 2017 found that cycling to work is associated with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, helping conclude that cycling really could help you from developing cancer.
7. Cycling can improve your social life
Life is pretty full-on for women. The research highlighted by the Independent states women have less free time, meaning it can be challenging to fit in socializing.
However, cycling benefits for ladies can include an improved social life. Kill two birds with one stone and ride with other women. Making cycling a fantastic social outlet.
Riding with friends and women only groups as well as clubs in your local area is a brilliant way to make new friends and enjoy some social time. Not to mention, cafe stops on bike rides are also a great way to interact with cycling friends and help you to get out and about.
8. Cycling can be great during pregnancy
Cycling is a brilliant way to keep fit; this is also true for many women during pregnancy. The charity Sustrans has covered this topic, stating that cycling has been shown to help build stamina for labor and delivery, speed up post-natal recovery, and help increase your energy levels.
The same piece goes on to state: “Some women experience pelvic pain when walking during pregnancy. But cycling can help ease that pain and be a much more comfortable way to get around your local area.”
Not just during pregnancy but post-pregnancy, cycling can help with NHS Scotland, suggesting that regular exercise can be a good form of self-help for postnatal depression symptoms.
9. Cycling lowers risk of heart disease
Among the various other wonderful benefits of cycling for women, lowering the chances of developing heart disease is also one of them.
Research carried out in the UK and published by The BMJ discovered “Commuting by cycling was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality and adverse CVD”. CVD is cardio vascular disease.
Yet again proving, that commuting to and from work could literally save your life. Therefore it’s time to swap the four wheels for two.
10. Cycling lowers risk of diabetes
Along with reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, cycling can also help to prevent the risk of diabetes developing.
Research carried out in Finland found that people cycling for 30 minutes or more per day had a 40% lower risk of developing diabetes. This means riding to work or the shops daily can help prevent diabetes.
Therefore, although more men are diagnosed with type 2 and type 1 diabetes than women, it’s still an illness that affects women, but cycling can lower the chances of suffering from it.
Effects of Cycling on Female Body
All in all, cycling has some seriously positive effects on the female body.
Not only does cycling help prevent female cancers or the likelihood of developing other physical conditions, but it also helps to reduce the symptoms associated with mental health issues.
Therefore, although choosing cycling as your form of daily exercise won’t necessarily guarantee prevention or a quick solution to illness, it can help. It can help improve your fitness, your body weight, and thus body image.
But most importantly, it can help you to feel good about yourself. Without our mental well-being, regardless of our physical state, life would be a lot tougher to get through.
Cycling Side Effects for Females
The side effects expected for women can include being much happier. As the science suggests, exercising can increase endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain and reduce stress levels. Therefore, cycling regularly will make you happy 24/7. Goodbye sadness, hello happy times!
Not only that but animals and the environment will automatically love you. For opting for the green option of riding your bike over car or vehicle usage, you will find fury critters become much more fond of you in the Snow White type of way. You will become one with nature, no doubt.
However, your bank balance may dislike your new passion… But sometimes you have to invest a little in your health, be it a new bike or new cycling clothing like a comfy pair of leggings. Either way, it’s worth it.
On a serious note, cycling can be a transformative way of life for women. It is a great sport and mode of transport, and the numerous health benefits for women prove it’s a great activity. If you ask me, you get to sit down while enjoying two wheels, the icing on the cake.